Sat. Jun 22nd, 2024

Postal employees should mind what they do when on duty

August 17, 2022
2022 08 17 at 5.30 PM


The Postal Service wants to remind employees that they must not misuse their time while on the clock.

Federal regulations require postal employees to use their work time in an honest effort to perform their official duties.

Certain activities are prohibited while on duty, whether employees engage in them for one minute or several hours. These activities include:

• Viewing pornography and sexually explicit material or sending sex-related texts, known as “sexting.”

• Engaging in gambling, sports pools, gambling pools and pyramid schemes.

• Completing work for an outside employer or your own outside business.

• Illegally buying, selling or arranging to use drugs.

• Participating in partisan political activity.

• Participating in fundraising other than Combined Federal Campaign activities.

On-the-clock time should be used to perform postal tasks, not personal ones.

Employees, however, may use official time for personal tasks on a limited basis, as long as such use does not adversely affect their productivity, interfere with the Postal Service’s mission or operations, or violate ethics regulations.

For example, employees may call a restaurant while on duty to make a dinner reservation, but they may not watch a televised cooking show for their entertainment or take a call for an outside business.

Federal regulations also prohibit employees from encouraging, directing, coercing or requesting that their subordinates use their official time to perform activities other than their Postal Service duties.

For example, an employee should not ask a subordinate to perform a personal task, such as ordering flowers, picking up dry cleaning or making personal appointments.

Employees who have questions should call the USPS Ethics Office helpline at 202-268-6346 or send an email to

The Postal Service is observing Ethics Awareness Week from Aug. 15-19.

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